London Salesforce DUG, August 2019: Change Data Capture & Chatter

dug-august-2019Our monthly recaps of the London Salesforce Developer Trailblazer Community events continue with a look back at August’s event, which was hosted and sponsored by brightgen.

For any new readers, the London Developer Trailblazer Community group meets regularly to take part in networking, sharing of experience and development practices, discussing new features, and giving each other feedback on developments with Salesforce technologies.

As proud sponsors of the official London Salesforce DUG YouTube channel, we’ll continue to provide these video highlights each month, but we must emphasise the events are well worth attending in person if you’re ever able to make it along.

So, let’s take a look at the sessions presented by our great speakers from August’s London Salesforce Developer User Group:

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MobileCaddy App Container Update

MobileCaddy apps run within a container which we call the “App Container”. This is the native application that your users install onto their devices from the App Store, Play Store or through your MDM solution. Our App Containers allow you to take advantage of the native capabilities of your user’s devices when writing hybrid Mobile Applications using tools such as Ionic and Angular. They also provide all of the tools needed for authentication and secure encrypted data storage.

Over the past years, we have continued to update and improve our App Containers to increase security, add features, fix issues, and maintain compatibility with the Salesforce platform. This post discusses an upcoming update we are planning to release which will mark the next stage and evolution of our mobile App Containers.

Why is this update needed?

Our App Containers use a variety of technologies such as Cordova and the Salesforce Mobile SDK (for our iOS and Android App Containers) and must also conform to the guidelines and requirements set out by the policies set out by the OS Manufacturer’s stores. Towards the end of 2017 and throughout 2018, we realised that our current tech stack for the App Containers needed an overhaul to keep us secure, robust, up-to-date, and compliant. This meant moving faster than we can by using the Salesforce Mobile SDK. We needed our own Mobile SDK.

We are focusing on security and stability with the new App Containers with the aim to cause minimal impact to your existing Mobile Application codebase.

These changes will allow us to more rapidly test and target the latest versions of our dependencies to make sure that we can review and consume security and performance updates at a greater pace. With this comes some breaking changes for us (that will not affect your existing apps) and the need to create new solutions and technologies to provide the same App Container experience that you are used to. Architecture and proof-of-concept work began in late 2018 and is currently in progress.

What is the timeline for this update?

The rest of this article will give you an overview of the current status. Please keep in mind that any timelines are not fixed and we can not give an exact or estimate release date until closer to release. Items in each phase in the diagram below are not equal and may take varying amounts of time depending on their focus. We will endeavour to update the diagram below when new phases are completed and update this page when new information is available.

App Container Update

As we get closer to testing and release, we hope to release more information regarding this update along with guidelines for any impact this may have to existing or in-development mobile applications.

Status Updates

This section will be updated as the project progresses or to notify of any changes.

Update 8th October 2019

The project is on track and is progressing as expected. Beta 2 status has been reached in the past month and testing of Beta 2 has begun with our existing testing and QA systems. Integrations testing continues, and work continues to bring in features to reach feature parity with our current App Containers that use the Salesforce Mobile SDK.

Core MobileCaddy SDK:

  • Beta 2 status reached – evaluation to begin.
  • Beta 2 testing with existing test and QA systems has started.
  • Support for Salesforce Communities under development.
  • Internal supporting systems architecture and implementation has started.
  • Beta 3 tasks scheduled and under development.

Update 9th September 2019

The project is on track and is progressing as expected. As planned in the previous update, the project has reached an internal “Beta 1″ status. This will now be evaluated, and work will begin on items scheduled for the second Beta and also feedback from Beta 1. Testing of the integration work from last month is expected to be carried out in the coming month along with Beta 2 work.

Core MobileCaddy SDK:

  • Internal Beta 1 status reached – evaluation to begin
  • Beta 2 tasks have been scheduled and are under development

MobileCaddy SDK Integrations:

  • Integrations work completed and now under testing

Update 10th August 2019

The project is on track and is progressing as expected. Some exciting and important technical milestones have been passed this month:

Core MobileCaddy SDK:

  • First complete flow from install to completed initial sync successful. This milestone brings together work from across all areas of the SDK from authentication to the encrypted storage.
  • Internal Beta 1 has been targeted for next month.

MobileCaddy SDK Integrations:

  • Work is currently in progress for the integration of the MobileCaddy SDK with the MobileCaddy Salesforce package – the specification has been agreed and is currently under development.

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Recap: Salesforce London Partner Day and World Tour 2019

Along with our CEO Justin, I recently attended two important events in the Salesforce Calendar for those in and around London – the Salesforce Partner Forum and the Salesforce London World Tour. These events are valuable to many attendees for many reasons, but here are my thoughts on why they’re both “must attend” entries in my annual calendar, and also some experiences from this year’s events.

 

The Partner Day

As an ISV Partner, we at MobileCaddy hugely value the Salesforce Partner Forum, and in fact, its “bang for buck” is so high I can’t recommend it enough for those selling into, and with, the Salesforce ecosystem. This year’s forum was once more held at The Brewery in Morgate, and as usual – for myself at least – it kicked off with the inhaling of some caffeine whilst catching up with friends and acquaintances from other ISVs and SIs.

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Key Considerations for Effective Self-Service Product Support

This article looks into why it’s so important for manufacturers to put the needs of their end users first when deciding exactly how to provide any information related to the use, maintenance, or repair of their products, especially when dealing with new digital technologies and modern consumer-driven expectations.

 

For a manufacturer, effectively delivering information for product support to their end users – in this case, operators of complex machinery or equipment in the workplace – will generally depend on three key factors:

  • The content (the information itself)
  • The environment (where, and in what conditions, it will be consumed)
  • And the medium (how it is consumed)

It doesn’t matter if the operator is looking for a step-by-step guide for how to use the product, advice for troubleshooting a problem, or instructions to repair it themselves on-site. The manufacturer must clearly understand, and actively cater for, all three of those factors in order to create a positive customer experience. The content, the environment, and the medium, must be handled in a way that’s most suitable for the end user’s specific individual situation when operating those products.

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MobileCaddy Continues to Support StreetLink in the Fight Against Homelessness

StreetLink-MobileCaddy

We’re delighted to announce one of our social enterprise clients, StreetLink, has recently made the decision to renew its agreement with MobileCaddy for a second time, taking us into the third consecutive year of our exciting partnership together.

StreetLink is an organisation operating in England and Wales that allows members of the public to alert local authorities and services to people sleeping rough in their area, either by mobile app, phone, or on the web.

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MobileCaddy Presents: How Augmented Reality Will Transform Customer Service

Our more regular readers might recall that back in March, when recapping the excellent fourth annual edition of the London’s Calling Salesforce community event, we promised we would bring you a certain video in due course.

Our CEO, Justin Halfpenny, along with brother and Lead Mobile Technical Architect Todd, presented at this year’s event on behalf of MobileCaddy. Their presentation, titled, How Augmented Reality is Changing the Face of Self-Service, gave audiences a look (literally) into the future of customer service, particularly in the manufacturing industry.

The exciting session included several live demonstrations of innovative Augmented Reality (AR) technology in action, showing the attendees first-hand what’s achievable with browser-based web-AR, right through to mobile object detection and part identification. And now, as promised, you can watch the full presentation in the video below!

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MobileCaddy at LAMMA 2019 | Technology Trends Driving After-Sales Strategies

Follow our CEO Justin Halfpenny as he explores LAMMA 2019, the UK’s largest agricultural and machinery event. Taking place earlier this year, the LAMMA show welcomed thousands of attendees and featured 650-plus exhibitors showcasing the latest farming machinery, equipment, and innovative technology.

In this latest video, Justin interviews a number of leaders from within the industry, with a focus on how technology is transforming the after-sales strategies for their products and services to meet the demands of today’s customers. This is a key trend impacting manufacturers, as products and services in all industries require accompanying technologies to deliver a greater customer experience.

As traditional paper-based assets like product manuals and user guides continue to be replaced by digital channels such as mobile apps, customers want information easier, quicker, and in more detail, to enhance their use of machinery and equipment. Watch the video to find out more!

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Where Should Self-Service Fit into a Manufacturer’s After-Sales Strategy?

Many B2B manufacturers today may look at their after-sales strategy and ask, “where does self-service fit in?” But what we’ve found, through our work with companies in the manufacturing industry who are leading the way with their digital transformations, is that self-service should define an after-sales strategy, rather than serve as a component within it.

Market trends causing a shift

In today’s B2B manufacturing market, quality of product and low price points are no longer enough to make companies stand out from the competition.

These crucial metrics are now being overtaken, in terms of importance, by the need for outstanding customer service and experiences with those products, tailored to the needs of the end users. This is evidenced by the revelation that 67% of consumers, and a staggering 74% of business buyers, say they will pay more for a great experience.

Customer service and customer experience are both issues which come into play in the ‘after-sales’ stage of the customer journey, which is a key success factor these days, and should now be a top priority for manufacturers. Here, we’ll explore why… 

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The Rise of Companion Apps: How B2C Mobile Apps Are Influencing B2B Customer Service

In our personal lives, we use dozens of companion apps every day. Within the B2C space, this could be any mobile app which accompanies a product, a service, or a brand. In this article, we’ll explore a number of examples of companion apps, why they’re so important today, and where B2B companies should be looking for inspiration to improve their own customer experiences.

Every Product Needs a Companion

Our more regular readers will know we’ve talked at length recently about the importance of having product companion apps, particularly to accompany equipment and machinery in the B2B manufacturing space, to significantly enhance the capabilities of the operators of those products.

But product companion apps are part of a broader category of technology, which are referred to simply as companion apps. These are seen everywhere in the B2C space, either for digital or physical products and services, and they allow us as users to self-serve, by providing direct access to information we need or actions we want to take.

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Customer Experience Shines at Salesforce London’s Calling 2019

Answering the Call 

Last week, the MobileCaddy team was fortunate enough to be at London’s Calling 2019, a fantastic annual Salesforce event, kindly hosted by the people at the Skills Matter CodeNode venue in the City of London’s Moorgate area.

London’s Calling is Europe’s largest community-led event for Salesforce professionals, and this was the fourth consecutive year it’s taken place, bringing together 400 attendees, speakers, and sponsors to share best practices, discuss emerging trends, and explore new ideas related to the Salesforce technology they use to work.

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